Green doubles property assets with pounds 41m purchase

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GREEN Property, the Irish investment company, has almost doubled the value of its property assets with the Ir pounds 42m (pounds 40.7m) acquisition of a mixed office and retail portfolio from the Merchant Navy Officers' Pension Fund, writes Tom Stevenson.

The deal, which means that 77 per cent of Green's assets are in Ireland, will be part-funded by a three-for-four rights issue at Ir150p to raise Ir pounds 25m.

The acquisition, flagged in December, includes properties in Dublin city centre, Sligo and Kilkenny. Valued at Ir pounds 45.5m by Jones Lang Wootton, the portfolio provides annual rents of Ir pounds 3.69m, implying an initial yield of 8.8 per cent.

Green recently announced a 17 per cent rise in pre-tax profits for the year to December to Ir pounds 2.14m. Shareholders' funds rose 60 per cent to Ir pounds 46m and gearing fell from 106 per cent to 47 per cent.

Green plans to return to an even split between Irish and UK investments through further British acquisitions. To that end, it set up a joint venture with PDFM last year to acquire shopping centres in Portsmouth and Middlesbrough.